Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The next step in the voyage around the world took place yesterday. We had Cat's Paw IV, the Fast Passage 39, surveyed, mechanically inspected, and we had the rigging looked at. The survey involved a guy crawling all over the boat and looking at every nook and cranny to see if there was anything wrong with the boat. He checked out the hull, all the boat's systems ( water maker, hot water tank, oven, stove and propane locker, electrical systems, ships instruments). Then we had the boat hauled out of the water and the hull hosed off and he examined the underwater parts of the boat. The mechanic ran the engine and examined it's workings. The rigger walked all over the boat and looked at the lines and the stays ( wires that hold the mast in place) and he even went up the mast and looked at all the fastenings all the way up.

It was very informative to follow them around and ask questions about this and that and find out a lot more about the boat. The boat has some deficiencies which need to be fixed but it generally is in good working order. It needs new sails and the motor needs upgrading or retrofitting. The hull is sound, the rigging is in really good shape and all the instruments are in good working order the only thing we are unsure about is the water maker.

We took the boat out for a sail today and unfortunately there was very little wind. We hoisted all the sails that were onboard and the boat just glided along beautifully. I actually took the helm as we were heading out of the marina and managed to keep it into the wind as Barry hoisted the main. It responded to the helm beautifully and was moving along quite nicely in very little wind.

So, we have decided that we very definitely want the boat, it is just the sort of boat we are looking for. Not too big, fairly easily sailed by two people, big enough to sleep six quite comfortably, big enough to have a dinner party for six, eight in a pinch, if you sat in the cockpit, 16. It also has a reputation as a good sailor, no one will have to wait for us on a long crossing, except for maybe Bruce in his huge catamaran!!! It also is supposed to be able to handle fairly rough weather and the boat is narrow enough that you won't get tossed around down below.

Hopefully all the reports on the boat will be ready tomorrow and we will then finalize our offer to the owner. We are planning on asking for some additional compensation for some stuff that needs to be fixed and we will see where that goes. We could do it today, but if we have the opinion of some experts to back up our claims, we are more likely to get the owner to agree to a lesser price. After that we have to arrange for insurance and then we will have to go to the States to get the boat.
I can hardly stand to wait for the reports, I am itching to get onboard and spruce her up, a little polish here, some cleaning and elbow grease there. I want to get my pots and pans out and put them aboard, fill up the drawers with my clothes, try out my new deck shoes on her, well you get the picture. If all goes well we may have access to her on the long weekend and have the total use of her next week. It's a little much to expect that we will have her by Friday. Oh my, how am I going to fill my time between now and then.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Filling in time is not a hardship on Vancouver Island. We have to wait until Monday to have the boat surveyed so we are in limbo so to speak. We have put a downpayment on the Fast Passage so although we can look at boats it doesn't make sense to get serious about anything else. We went to Victoria on Monday and I bought some boat shoes and then we wandered around the Inner Harbour watching the float planes land, the sailboat charters come in and the whale watching tours finish off. I wanted to go whale watching, but could not convince Barry that this was a good idea.

On Tuesday we went to our storage area and went through all our boxes, labeling them all so we will be able to find stuff in the future. I got out a couple pairs of sandals so have no excuse to buy any more. That evening we went to North Sanich in Sidney to a get together held by the Blue Water Cruising Association. They had a Mustang representative there that gave a talk about PFD'S and lifejackets. We got a chance to try out our brand new inflatable life jackets. Everyone that had oneput them on and got to inflate them and feel what that was like, I am glad I got the chance because I figured out how to change the cartridge and what it felt like once they were inflated. The rep. gave us all a brand new cartridge, now I don't have to resist the urge to pull the toggle just to find out what it is like. I was thinking I might have a problem resisting that urge.

We met a couple that have been teaching in Dubai for the last 15 years and have called it quits and are heading of cruising. They plan to cruise up the inside passage to Alaska and then spend from November until April in the Carribean on a sibling's boat. We didn't get a chance to talk to many others and I missed that, although one fellow told us that he is living aboard not to far away and invited us down anytime.

We actually headed down to their marina today, but they were not aboard, so we wandered around in the bright sunshine and gawked at boats. We saw several beauts, but none were for sale (just as well, I guess). Then we had to decide whether we wanted to go and play golf or have a beer then go for a swim in the pool at the complex we are staying at. The beer and the pool won out. We may go in to Victoria in the next couple of days and see the tall ships show that is on. We are not sure whether we want to brave the crowds or not. I hear their is a jazz festival at a vinyard that is within bicylcing distance, HMMMM which would you chose.

Well I probably won't have anymore news until the boat had been surveyed so keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

It is our 31st anniversary today. 31 years ago we were in Winnipeg, with all our family and friends. It was a gorgeous hot, sunny day. I remember Barry and Bruce coming over to wash the wedding car, my parent's olive green Dodge Dart. It didn't look too bad.

31 years later we are in Duncan, B.C. with Barry's mom and we are awaiting the survey of the sailboat Cats Paw IV. It can't be surveyed until next Monday, June 24. Apparently the Fast Passages are known for getting osmosis blistering, where water gets under the fiberglass and starts delaminating the boat in spots. This is not a good thing for a boat to have and can cost up to $30,000 to fix. That is going to be the longest week that I've had for a while. Both Barry and I are trying to think what we can do for a week plus while we wait. Barry was talking about going down to the casual employment office, I am not sure if I am ready to do that yet. It's one thing being on holidays and having money to spend and it's another thinking about every penny and finding things to do.

We woke up this morning and went for a lovely breakfast at the Pioneer House, a local restaurant. Then we decided to visit Cowichan Bay, a community located on the water not too far from here. We hit it lucky and ran into Cowichan Days on the waterfront. There were displays of sea kayaks, canoe races, food vendors, a blue's band, fishing derby, a painting contest, a tour on a 1922 steam driven trawler, and a boat building contest. The boat builder's had to be in costume, have only two builders, and use only hand tools, not power, and their supplies could only cost so much. At the end of it they had to sail or paddle their vessels.

It was interesting to see the different approaches to boat building. A couple of retired navy types built a submarine out of wood, they had painted it and put a periscope on it as well as a sail. The tree hugger entry made their craft out of vines and willow branches, then added netting and covered the whole thing in plastic. One of the other entries had 5 gallon water bottles for floatation and a flat platform to paddle from, it actually looked like it might be seaworthy. We may go back to see which one actually cut the mustard.

We are planning on going out for dinner tonight. There was a nice looking restaurant in Cowichan Bay that we may try out. The sun is shining here at the moment, so I may go outside and enjoy it, sometimes it doesn't last for long.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Barry and I arrived on the Lower Mainland about June 3, 2005. We spent three days running around Vancouver, me with a map on my knees, trying to figure out right from left and Barry patiently navigating the highways and byways. We looked at boats on Granville Island, in West Vancouver up near Horseshoe Bay, in Ladner, almost on the U.S. border and in Point Roberts in Washington State. We saw one we both liked a lot but it didn't have standing headroom for Barry and I figured that was a must.

We headed over to Vancouver Island on Tuesday, June 7 and immediately looked at more boats. The next day we hopped all over the south coast of Vancouver Island and saw 10 boats. That was a bit mind boggling, we tried to write down a brief description of each boat after we looked at it and then our overall impressions. We saw a couple of beauties on the North Saanich Marina docks, one at Panda 38 was to die for, but out of our price range (the housing market in Yellowknife hadn't been THAT good).

We were very interested in a Fast Passage 39 called Cats Paw IV. It is a good sailor, noted for it's ability to go offshore, this particular boat also had a number of items that we figured would be imperative if we were to go off shore. After looking at it for a second time, we decided to put an offer in. It was listed for $179,900.00 we discussed with our broker what he thought was a reasonable offer. We came up a price just less than $20,000 less than list price and we were prepared to dicker with the owner and up our price by quite a bit. Unbelievable the owner accepted our initial offer, WOW.

Now we have to go through the inspection process on the boat. We are wondering what it wrong with the boat that the owner did not want to dicker about the price???

If you want to see our prospective boat just click on the link below.